It's a fun process to sit down with a local deck construction company and come up with a design for a custom deck. There are all sorts of things for you to consider, including the size and shape of the structure, as well as what built-in amenities it will have. During this process, it's important that you don't view the deck's steps as an afterthought. Putting careful consideration into the steps will ensure that they provide the look and functionality that you and your family will appreciate. Here are some points that you should think about when you're designing your deck steps.
The depth of the treads on your deck steps will influence how easily and safely people can navigate the steps. When the treads aren't very deep, peoples' feet will partially hang off the edges of the treads as they use the steps. This can increase the risk of someone slipping and falling. It's generally a good idea to have deeper step treads, as peoples' entire feet will be able to fit comfortably on them. Your deck construction company can show you samples of a few different tread depths so that you can decide what you like best.
A lot of people enjoy using their decks at night. If you expect to have evening gatherings on the deck, you'll want to consider having built-in lights around the steps. A common approach is to have a small light built into each of the risers between the steps. These lights will cast a glow that illuminates the treads and makes the steps safer to navigate. For a cost-effective lighting solution, consider using solar-powered lights. The builder can install a small solar panel on the part of the deck that gets the most sunlight during the day, and it will provide the necessary power to the lights in your steps.
The height of the deck and the available open space around it will influence what degree of slope you choose for the steps. When possible, it's ideal if you can choose a gentle slope rather than a steep one. Many people find gentle slopes easier to navigate. For example, if you have elderly parents or neighbors who will visit you and spend time on your deck, they'll likely have an easier time ascending rather than descending the steps when they're positioned at a gentle slope. Contact a deck construction company to begin the process of designing your deck.